Walters cautious despite Ireland Euro 2016 qualification boost

Jonathan Walters Republic of Ireland 07092015
The Stoke forward got on the scoresheet as Martin O'Neill's men secured an important victory against Georgia, but warned that qualification is far from guaranteed

Jonathan Walters insists that the Republic of Ireland still have "a long way to go" in their quest to secure qualification for Euro 2016.

The Stoke City striker scored the decisive goal as the Boys in Green overcame Georgia 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium on Monday, a result which significantly boosts their chances of reaching the tournament in France next year.

After Scotland's back-to-back defeats against Georgia and Germany, Ireland now sit four points clear of Gordon Strachan's side in third place and just two behind second-place Poland.

However, with crunch games to come against Germany and Poland in October, the 31-year-old remains cautious.

"Obviously we wanted to get six points this week and we did. But there's still a long way to go towards qualifying. We have massive games next month," Walters told reporters.

"We're a million miles away from qualifying yet, we have a long way to go.

"We have two games to go. We'll go back to our clubs, and then come back and approach these games in the right way."

Martin O'Neill's side will be without the services of Glenn Whelan and James McClean for the Germany clash after the duo picked up yellow cards on Monday.

However, while acknowledging the scale of those losses, Walters is confident that Ireland's squad is big enough to cope.

"We're missing a couple of lads, Glenn and James, for the next game. But we have lads who can step in. We have a big squad, and someone will step in," continued the Potters forward.

"I know Glenn from Stoke. A lot of what Glenn does it just keep us ticking away. He'll be a loss to us, he's a good player. James is a big loss too, but there's other lads who can take their place.

Walters also reserved praise for the Irish supporters and is hopeful that a big crowd will turn out at the Aviva Stadium for the Germany clash on October 8.

"They (fans) really help us win games," he stressed. "It's like having an extra body on the pitch. Hopefully we can get a big crowd for Germany. It's going to be a big game for us.

"But if we can get the results, hopefully we can get to the European finals."